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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Revisiting a Game from the Past: Theme Hospital

As the Easter holidays began, I braced myself for the month of studying and revising that I had planned. It’s the first Monday, the day I told myself I would start the studying, and have I done anything? Nope. I’ve already sabotaged myself. How? I pretend that I hear you ask. Theme Hospital.


A conversation with my housemates last week discussed our teenage years, which weren’t that long ago, and the games that we played. Of course Theme Hospital and Rollercoaster Tycoon came up. I found myself curious about playing Theme Hospital again and so I found the disk, installed it and bam! I’m addicted again.

There’s something about crazy conditions mixed with the responsibility of building and running a hospital with a group of staff who have bizarre hobbies in their spare time that really just interests me. Can I save the guy with spare ribs when they haven’t researched doggy bags enough? Can I find a nurse to save the invisible guy? Can I shoot the rats with my cursor? Can I help cure the guys dressed up as Elvis from their King Syndrome?

I prefer it when the patients listen to the receptionist’s request that ‘Patients are asked not to vomit too much’ or at least make it to the bathroom so I don’t have to hire fifteen handymen to stop the hospital from being hit by an epidemic and hide said epidemic from the Ministry of Health who is some guy in a top hat who meanders around the hospital. It gets frustrating when the only doctors available to hire are described as ‘lazy’ and ‘couldn’t care less’ and into ‘fart surfing’ (whatever that is, I don’t want to know) because they’re exactly the kind of people you want in your make-believe-but-feels-real hospital. It hits you right in the gut when the doctor guy in the corner declares ‘You’ve just killed your first patient. How does it feel?’ Heartbreaking! I’ll do better, I’ll be better. I guess I don’t feel so bad when that patient is collected by the Grim Reaper…

I must sound crazy if you haven’t played Theme Hospital but if you haven’t played it then WHY HAVEN’T YOU PLAYED IT? Where were you during the nineties? Busy playing on a Tamagotchi or watching Pokémon? I promise you it feels real when you’re playing- or maybe it really is just me and I need to go to rehab or something although that’d probably just remind me of Theme Hospital…oh what a conundrum.

It’s been three days since I began writing this blog post and I’m one level away from winning the game and my university work still remains in a pile on my desk. Who needs a degree when you can make a hospital and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars by saving patients from the strangest list of conditions? DON’T TELL ME IT’S NOT REAL!

Nope, as addictive as it is, I’m sure that upon completion I’ll at least take a break, pick up a textbook, flick through a few pages, makes a few notes then open my laptop back up and… play it all again on hard mode. 

For those of you who haven’t played and would like to watch some game play, here’s a YouTube video but I promise you it’s much more amusing when you’re playing yourself:

I'm a movie lover of all genres, particularly comic book films, as well as some television shows such as Community. I enjoy fiction writing and blog writing and I sometimes dabble in reviews.

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